Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Fricassee

So you've all been watching my slow metamorphosis from pantser to not-exactly-pantser.  (I will never be a hard-core plotter. That would be like trying to change my DNA.)

(No, Holly Bodger. Don't even go there.)

Anyway.  I've spent this week thinking my way through what's going to be a mammoth revision of my YA paranormal.  It's all good (though it didn't feel good when I first realized what I was in for).  But WOW--what a hard week!

Really, really hard.

For one thing, I miss writing.  MISS!  I haven't done anything but plot and plan, on two separate stories, for almost two months.

And if there isn't some sort of amazing payoff?  As in, when I finally start TYPING WORDS next week, it flows at a relentlessly effortless pace that leaves me breathless with wonder and self-worth?

Someone will die.

(Well, probably a character.  But still.  It will feel good.)

But! Last night I shared my shiny new worldbuilding and backstory with dear Mr. A, who is by far (way way way far) my hardest critic.  And guess what! His face lit up.

No, it did.  Despite the cliche.

The veil of confusion melted away--he UNDERSTOOD what I was telling him.  It was non-convoluted.  MADE SENSE.  And--he LIKED it!  He was smiling.

Understand me.  The man doesn't usually smile when I'm telling him about my worlds.  He usually--well, hmm.  It's more of a constipated, screwed-up-forehead kind of look.  As though he's trying really hard to make sense of the nonsensical.

Or something.

So I'm stoked.  Can't WAIT to get back to my outlining today. Am TOTALLY going to set aside time this weekend to work.

Many of you plotter types have shared your wisdom and experience over the months. I'm certain it's had an effect on me.  Thank you!

So tell me, oh plotters: Once you've got your outline, are you good to go? Or do you find you veer way farther from your plan than you had anticipated?

Share your SUCCESS stories today! And have a brilliant weekend.


  1. I am always so impressed with the people who plot. I don't do any of this stuff! Sometimes I scribble ideas into a notebook, but I never outline anything. Wow. Kudos to you guys. Keep up the amazing dedication.

  2. I always end up messing with my outline one way or another. For my last project, I switched around two chapters because I realized there was information the audience needed sooner! I'm sort of a combination between a plotter and a pantser: I know which points I need to hit, but the fine details aren't as clear until I reach that event.

  3. I'm a loose plotter. I like to know what direction I'm going, but sometimes there are new roadblocks, bumps, potholes, what-have-you that I never expected. You can plot to the nth degree because you have to leave room for the story to flow. Take what you have and just go with it. If you veer, so be it.

  4. I've pantsed. I've noted. I've outlined. Even did the plot cards for a major revision. For my WIP I have - get this - a spreadsheet! Going back to my roots as an Excel nerd. No matter what form, I like to have my original ideas down, and I always, always rearrange as I go.

  5. I finished my book and am ready to move on to the next one – or almost. I’m staring at the blank page, but I have decided that I am going to try to plot this time. Actually, I wonder if that is not why I am staring at the blank page. In any case, this post struck home.

    Happy thoughts and moving pens!

  6. I've always been the ultimate pantser, but for my new WIP, I decided to try plotting. And I'm struggling to write the book. Usually I'm excited to get to work, to find out what my characters are going to do next, but because I plotted it all out in advance this time, I'm kind of bored with it. I know what's going to happen next, so why do I need to write it?

    Next book, I'm back to pantsing.

  7. *doesn't go there*

    **doesn't tell Authoress that current WIP has absolutely NO PLAN**

  8. I hate plotting and feel pressured to do it before starting my actual book writing. I don't like the turnout of my current book (a mystery book) because the plot isn't strong enough because I rushed through.

    I'm thinking about possibly rewriting the whole book. I admit I was really lazy while plotting because I wanted to go straight to the book. And I can't really redo it right now because I am working on a feedback form every now and then for my website. Maybe I'll get back into the groove of things as a developer/writer.

    (And, I need to start working more on an upcoming game I'm making. You know, as a developer, I don't have much writing time.)

  9. I'm veering more toward the plotting end of the continuum. It gives me some place to go even though it isn't set in stone that I do go there. Unexpected flowers always grow up through the cracks in my concrete plotting.

  10. It was refreshing to be able to ask a question about something in your world that I did not understand AND get a very logical response. :-) Love ya sweetie. Keep on plotting, even if it seems like plodding to a pantser.

  11. I love plotting. If I try to pants it my stories peter out after a few chapters. That being said, I never consider my outlines set in stone--that's way too constraining! They grow and adapt with my writing.

    Good luck! And kootoes to you for being so excited to work :)

  12. I am so proud of you.

    I'm a terribly slow drafter. Terrible. All my planning is an attempt to forestall those moments when I get stuck on a paragraph staring out the window. Sometimes it works even.

    I always veer off the plan at some point, but usually not too far, and it usually comes back together at the next critical plot point.

  13. Dear Authoress,
    I LOVED your description of your dear Mr. A. I started sharing plots and ideas with my dear husband last year and it only lasted a few short months. That screwed-up face of his (my husband's, not yours) became too discouraging. Now I only share with my word buddies and tell him the more general "I had a super great plot twist idea last night and I'm gonna try it can you get off the computer anytime soon?"
    I guess for us, we realized that we like to share some things (dancing, movies, discussing our crazy family, etc) and others just bore the other to pieces (me talking plot points and him trying to share the wonder of velocity and mass when a ball is bounced on a moving train- He is a teacher of Physics and Mathematics). We just operate on opposite sides of our brains.
    But I am thrilled that you had such success communicating with your dear Mr. A.

  14. My typical writing process is something like:

    1. Make an outline.
    2. Start writing.
    3. Realize that the upcoming part of the outline is stupid.
    4. Redo the entire rest of the outline.
    5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the first draft is finished.

    It worked for this last novel... now I just have to hope it'll do as well for the one I'm planning now.

  15. I had a basic outline but this past week I actually took the time to attach it to a calendar because my YA WIP takes place over a summer. And this helped me to look at it in a realistic time line. I'm really glad I took the time to do it.